HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

Should You Replace Your Furnace?

Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about a furnace replacement. You have plenty of time ahead of you to research your options and pick the best unit for your family since you won't need to worry about home heating for some months. The following are some signs that it is time to consider a furnace replacement.

Age Issues

The older your furnace, the more likely it becomes that a major breakdown will occur. Once your furnace does break down, you must make the decision immediately as to whether it makes financial sense to replace it or to repair it. If your furnace is more than a decade old, consider having it inspected for potential issues in the spring. A skilled technician will thoroughly check out your furnace to determine if any essential components are reaching the end of their lifespan. You then have plenty of time to compare repair costs to replacement costs and make a decision before fall.

Poor Efficiency

An older furnace is also less efficient than most newer models, so make sure to include efficiency and energy costs in your repair or replace assessment. Fortunately, furnaces come with efficiency ratings. If you no longer know the ratings for your current furnace, you can contact the manufacturer so you have the correct information to compare during your research. Another sign of poor efficiency is if your heating bills have been increasing without any other explanation.

Uneven Heating

An older furnace may not be able to keep up with your home's heating needs as it ages. This becomes apparent when some rooms just won't get as warm as others, especially if the cooler rooms are the ones that are further from the furnace. The issue is often related to the blower beginning to age and give out, and in many cases, it makes more sense to replace the furnace as opposed to replacing only the blower.

Fuel Concerns

Gas and oil furnaces have another concern that may mean it is time for a replacement. Poor combustion not only reduces heating and efficiency, but it can also lead to deadly carbon monoxide production. If your pilot line isn't burning an even blue -- in other words, if it is yellow, orange, or flickering -- then you need to have the fuel and ignition inspected to determine whether a repair or a replacement is the better choice. Some fuel problems are simple fixes, but often, failures in the fuel system mean that it is time to plan for a replacement due to safety issues.

Contact a heating installation service in your area to learn more.